whether to lend a bike or not?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby slowster » 27 Jun 2020, 6:04pm

Based on what you've told us I would not send that letter. At this stage I don't think it's necessary to go into technical detail as to why it was the damage sustained in the accident that is responsible for the steering pulling to one side. Given his form for previous reckless behaviour and telling others that it was your fault for lending him a faulty bike, he probably would not be receptive to such a letter. He sounds like someone who would probably refuse to accept facts and evidence, so such a letter might well be counter-productive.

Clearly you know far more than he does about bikes, and you also have had the assessment from the shop. To begin with it's better to simply state that the steering was fine before he borrowed the bike, and it's clear to you and to the shop mechanic that the crash is the cause of the problem. Have the confidence in yourself and your own knowledge to tell him that without writing a lengthy screed including technical explanations and reference to Jobst Brandt. Don't provide any technical information or evidence at this stage. If he challenges your assertion that the accident caused the steering problem, only then provide an explanation, and keep it very short and simple (no reference to Jobst Brandt).

Whether it's best to communicate this verbally, face to face in an informal setting, or in a letter depends somewhat on the personalities involved (his and yours), as well as the potential for it to cause problems that cause your manager/employer to become involved.

Try and be dispassionate and not accusatory in your manner. In other words I would try to be quite detached about it. If he then continues to insist on maintaining that the steering was already fault, I would suggest you make it clear by your manner that you don't care if he thinks it was your/the bike's fault: you know it wasn't and you are not going to waste your time arguing about it with him and trying to prove it to his satisfaction. It's not your job to convince him, especially if you are not going to pursue him for the cost of the repairs. (I think you are right to be prepared to write off the repair costs. Trying to get the money would probably not be worth it. The fact that he did not apologise as soon as he saw you after the accident and offer to pay for the repairs tells you that you would probably be wasting your time.)

I agree about telling your manager, but bear in mind what your manager's and your employer's perspective will be. They will not care about this except insofar as it has the potential to cause them problems, and they will not want to waste their time getting involved. However, they may be able to give you some advice or reassurance about this. For example, they might tell you not to worry about what he is saying to workmates, because everyone working with him knows that what he says is likely to be BS (especially if hs previous reckless behaviour was similarly accompanied by an attitude that he had not done anything wrong), in which case it may be best to simply ignore him, because that is probably what everyone else does.

The technical content in the letter is something which might be useful later if he tries it on and seeks compensation from you. Hopefully that won't happen, but as a precaution I would take photographs of the damage before fixing the bike.

gregoryoftours
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Joined: 22 May 2011, 7:14pm

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby gregoryoftours » 27 Jun 2020, 6:08pm

Yes I didn't get the impression that you wanted money (although you've certainly lost out financially), but some appreciation of the fact that you've lost out big time from this situation too and that you've also acted in good faith would be really good. But I agree that it is probably unlikely to happen!

Cyril Haearn
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Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 27 Jun 2020, 6:34pm

I think the letter is too long and detailed, would he bother reading/understanding it all?

Best maybe to keep quiet for a while. I should regret lending the cycle in this case, and the *complicated* situation that arose after, but you (and we) have learnt, sometimes making mistakes is worth it, one learns and understands better than when one just reads about such a situation
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 60097
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

alexnharvey
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby alexnharvey » 28 Jun 2020, 6:47am

Cyril, think he will read it and understand it but you are right that it is possibly too long and detailed. It is repetitive in parts.

Slowster, I have not had the bike inspected by a shop, it is my own assessment.

I may simply say

dear X

The pattern of damage to the bike (mudguard bent to the right, mudguard flap torn on left side, left brake rubbing, right brake pad missing, cracked paint under left fork crown) and the steering rightwards all indicate that the fork was bent to the right. Since i know it did not steer like that previously when I rode it last week, I believe it probably happened during your
crash. Happy to explain in greater detail if you are interested. No contribution to the repairs is expected.

alexnharvey
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby alexnharvey » 28 Jun 2020, 7:51pm

Well after a bit of back and forth we came to some level of mutual understanding even if not in full agreement.

Unfortunately the fork cracked during straightening.

boblo
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Joined: 24 Sep 2009, 7:35pm

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby boblo » 28 Jun 2020, 11:11pm

alexnharvey wrote:Well after a bit of back and forth we came to some level of mutual understanding even if not in full agreement.

Unfortunately the fork cracked during straightening.


Which ironically is a bit of a result. Had it cracked after straightening and in use, the result could have been messy...

bazzo
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Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 7:37am

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby bazzo » 30 Jun 2020, 4:19pm

mercalia wrote:so you lent a bike to some one who had his own one stolen? more fool you. sorry. if he cant look after his own bike what suppose he will for some one elses?

A little harsh to say that, I have had bike stolen in the past, you do your best but sometimes even that isn’t enough.

Anthony_
Posts: 1
Joined: 3 Jul 2020, 8:10pm

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby Anthony_ » 3 Jul 2020, 8:24pm

I'm afraid that people are much more careful with things they own than with things they borrow. It's human nature.
I don't lend, except to such good friends, or family, that I don't care if I never see it again. With work colleagues and acquaintances there's a certain amount of peer pressure. The answer is something like: Sorry, I never lend, I couldn't live with myself if you had an accident. Sorry.

Carlton green
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Joined: 22 Jun 2019, 12:27pm

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby Carlton green » 4 Jul 2020, 6:09am

alexnharvey wrote:Well after a bit of back and forth we came to some level of mutual understanding even if not in full agreement.

Unfortunately the fork cracked during straightening.


It seems like you’re making the best of things and steering as good a path as is possible through a difficult situation, well done.

Though it is an expense and an inconvenience now to my mind it’s better and safer to have the forks break during repairs than when you’re riding the bike.

I’m wondering what your reflection on events is and what you’re taking from the situation for future use. We all (can) learn from experiences and thank you for sharing yours.

My experience of lending is that it can be a good thing to do, but only to select people and in a controlled way. I have learnt the hard way that one really needs to have justifiable trust in the borrower and an agreed understanding of what will happen if things go wrong, you also have to be able to stand the total loss if things go badly.

arnsider
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 12:44am

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby arnsider » 4 Jul 2020, 7:02am

The factor that springs to my mind is that your bike is totally personal to your height and build and it takes a lot of trial and error to set it up for you.
Someone else will inevitably feel wrong on it and that could easily lead to an accident.
Point of fact, I would not dream of even asking for a loan of a friends bike and I would question a request.

JohnW
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Location: Yorkshire

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby JohnW » 4 Jul 2020, 9:59am

arnsider wrote:The factor that springs to my mind is that your bike is totally personal to your height and build and it takes a lot of trial and error to set it up for you.
Someone else will inevitably feel wrong on it and that could easily lead to an accident.
Point of fact, I would not dream of even asking for a loan of a friends bike and I would question a request.

+1 - yes - I go along with that.

philvantwo
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Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby philvantwo » 4 Jul 2020, 10:15am

Unless it's a small wheeler bike like mick f has got.......one size fits all?

JohnW
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Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby JohnW » 4 Jul 2020, 12:41pm

philvantwo wrote:Unless it's a small wheeler bike like mick f has got.......one size fits all?


I've never had one, so cannot give an experienced opinion.
However, saddle height and fore and aft position, and handlebar height and possibly profile are all adjustable even on those bikes.
Once you've set your (normal) bike up, and found the optimum for yourself, other people's bikes will feel odd.

edited for spelling mistake - 22.48hrs Friday
Last edited by JohnW on 4 Jul 2020, 10:48pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 4 Jul 2020, 9:25pm

Could be a problem if one has taken a lot of trouble to get the position just right, one loans the machine and it comes back with saddle and bars in quite different places :?
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB, 60097
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
We love safety cameras, we hate bullies

JohnW
Posts: 6376
Joined: 6 Jan 2007, 9:12pm
Location: Yorkshire

Re: whether to lend a bike or not?

Postby JohnW » 4 Jul 2020, 10:49pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Could be a problem if one has taken a lot of trouble to get the position just right, one loans the machine and it comes back with saddle and bars in quite different places :?

Quite so.